Dezeen Magazine

Mark Braun bases tabletop pestle and mortar on traditional millstones

Berlin designer Mark Braun's marble pestle and mortar, launched by Hem at this week's Stockholm Furniture Fair, is intended to be taken out of the kitchen and used at the dining table. 

The Table Mortar recreates the mechanism of millstones in miniature – with a circular "runner stone" that fits neatly into a space in the base to grind pepper, salt, or spice.

Available in five different colours, the mortar is made from marble sourced from around the world, and is intended to be displayed in the home rather than hidden in a kitchen cupboard.

The weight of the marble helps the user grind using just one hand, without the base slipping around.

Braun – who has also designed plywood stools and carafes engraved with images of lakes – said he applied the mathematical Fibonacci sequence to decide the proportions of the mortar.

"I like the idea of combining a real kitchen tool with a decorative accent on the dining table," he said. "Usually the mortar is left in the kitchen."

The piece is one of several new products launched by Hem at Stockholm Furniture Fair. The brand has also collaborated with Staffan Holm on a chair that blends Scandinavian and Japanese carpentry tradition, and with Julien Renault on a dining table that hides a super lightweight honeycomb structure.

Other pieces include an addition to Hem's range of seating in the form of a solid wood stool shaped like a bobbin, and shelving with zigzag supports.

Hem was launched to bring together several innovative approaches to design retailing. It sells its products online, with many of them engineered to pack flat for efficient shipping and warehousing.

The brand's story began in 2012 with the launch of One Nordic, a Finnish startup that made high-quality products designed to be sold online, and shipped efficiently and cheaply. This earned the firm a reputation as a "luxury Ikea".

Other products to launch at the Stockholm Furniture Fair include Note Design Studio's intentionally "not eye-catching" collection for Swedish brand Fogia and a new chandelier by Tom Dixon.